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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Healthy Living, it Ain't for Everyone

Ohio ranks 47th in the effectiveness of health care spending, according to the nonpartisan Health Policy Institute of Ohio.  Which is bad, but could be worse, because they rank all 50 states, and the District of Columbia separately, so it is not 47 out of 50, but 47 out of 51.  It has led to a rally on the lawn of the statehouse, with people chanting "we're not the worst, we're not the worst."

Apparently, despite my best efforts to become healthier, thinner, more fit, by quitting smoking, exercising, eating smarter, eschewing the elevator at work, and walking often is not enough.  According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch Ohio ranks 44th in adult smoking, 46th in adult diabetes, 48th in child immunizations, the list goes on and on, without varying much.

Not all the news was bad, though.  Ohio does rank 11th in accreditation of local health departments, and in employee sponsored health insurance, and 12th in fluoridated water.  So, it is not without hope. There are highly accredited local health departments with great teeth.

According to the report only Maine, Wyoming Indiana and West Virginia are less healthy than Ohio. Here is the bad bit, though, they spend far less than Ohio on health care.  It costs far less to be unhealthy in those places. In Ohio we have the privilege of being one of the most expensive, least healthy places.  In  fact, Ohio ranked last, bottom of the barrel, absolutely abysmal, in value for the health care costs.

This leaves two obvious choices, either provide better health care, or charge less.  Both of these are difficult, and require sacrifice. Obviously, prevention is much less expensive than cure, but it requires cooperation between doctor and patient.

Yes, a doctor can say "you should quit smoking, and lose some weight, you disgusting, overweight slob, before it kills you.  That will $230.00." Unless the patient is willing to take this sound medical advice to heart, it will do no good.

Conversely, a doctor can say "you have to start eating at least a few vegetables every week, and changing the channel at every commercial is not really aerobics.  That will be $75.00."  Charging less, or making people healthier, or both, which is going to work?  Probably neither.

But, we here at Life Explained, have a third option.  Embrace the slovenliness, welcome the weight, advertise the sloth.  Nobody likes to be told how they need to diet, nobody wants to hear they need to exercise more, people know they need to quit smoking. Everybody gets sick of the constant lecturing, brow beating, criticism. Ohio can make that a claim to fame.

"Fat, lazy, and proud, come to Ohio, you will be welcome."  Let other states give big tax breaks, and abatement's to attract businesses, selling future revenue for a brief bout of popularity, (kind of like life).  Ohio can boldly proclaim, "bring your business here, we won't tell you how to live your life, we like you just the way you are. Plus, we have donuts."

Businesses will flock to the state, the restaurant industry will flourish, tax revenues will rocket, and the state will be fat, and happy, and everybody will be grateful.  We can annex Indiana and West Virginia, we might need the extra room.  Ah, the future is bright, ah life smells sweet, like fresh caramel corn, or a fried Snickers bar.